Review: Dead Space 2
From it’s chilling opening until the bittersweet ending, Dead Space 2 never lets you go. There are absolute hair-raising moments throughout this game that will send shivers down your spine if you are in the right setting — which should be speakers up and lights off, if you are playing a survival horror like Dead Space 2.
The game takes place three years after the events on the Ishimura. Issac Clarke wakes up in a hospital bed aboard the Titan Station, also known as the Sprawl; a widely-populated space station on one of Saturn’s moons. Franco (the protagonist from Dead Space: Ignition) tries to save Issac from his restraints, but in the process is killed and transformed into a Necromorph, leaving Issac stuck in a straitjacket and having no clue where he is. But, Issac needs to escape or he’ll be Necro-lunch. Time to start hoofing it.. It’s not long after Issac is contacted by Diana Le Guin via comm radio and informs Issac that there is a cure for his dementia. So, what would any dementia ridden space engineer who has experienced horrible events do in this case? Follow the path to their purification, of course — and find a weapon and some health along the way. Hopefully this chick isn’t a loon like the others.
You know, I’m not too fond of long introductions, so let’s get to what you came here for. Are you ready to jump back into the infinite abyss and kill some more Necromorphs? Let’s do this…
Welcome back, Issac Clarke. Welcome back to your crazy life. As I mentioned previously, Dead Space 2 follows three years after the events on the Ishimura. Issac, now suffering from dementia, is plagued by hallucinogenic visions of his dead girlfriend, Nicole Brennan. The Marker continues to lay waste upon the deep space, turning anything living and breathing into a walking nightmare. I think it’s time for Issac to put an end to all of this, don’t you think?
I’ve always been a fan of survival horror and a fan of the Dead Space story too. I love a game that can give you a rush while playing it because you have no idea what is going to pop out from where. The thrill within Dead Space 2 was everything that a survival horror junkie could ask for: blood, guts, dismay, creatures, fear, acidic vomit, deep space destruction, impaling, dismemberment and a few dead babies along the way.
There aren’t many survival horror games that send chills down my spine, but I will say that there are definitely a few moments within Dead Space 2 that made me question being in an old creepy house by myself at three a.m. in the morning. One of the main moments that stick out for me was while Issac is making his way through the sleeping quarters, he walks into a room with a childs’ toy box playing a somber tune. Blood mixes with the paint on the walls as horses are being illuminated by a nightlight. In the next room, a man sits dead on the couch covered in his own blood. His marriage videos playing on the projector screen in front of him. A definite massacre had taken place. A definite creepy, disgusted and overwhelmingly eerie feeling should take over your body at this point. If it does not, maybe you should see a shrink.
Fans of the series couldn’t have asked for a better sequel to Dead Space. You’ll notice a few changes as you begin your journey through the Sprawl. You’ll see a few returning creatures as well as a few new ones. You’ll also see some fresh new fire power that you can use to blow your enemies to kingdom-come, such as detonator mines, the javelin and the seeker rifle. Suits now have bonuses to them, such as the CEC Engineering Suit gives Issac 5% damage protection and opens the inventory slots to ten items. But, the best suit has to be the Advanced Prototype Suit, which gives Issac 20% damage protection, 25 inventory slots and also the time for Stasis recharge has been decreased by half. All around, the number one suit that you’ll want to be wearing when facing Necromorphs.
The majority of the same aspects from Dead Space apply in its sequel, such as your RIG, Stasis, workbenches, the store and your Kenesis ability. You’ll want to handle these in the same fashion as you did previously. You’ll need to collect nodes and use them at workbenches to upgrade your suit, statis meter and weapons. They will save your life!
Remember, ammo and health are pretty scarce out there. Make sure that you conserve as much as possible. Killshots, my friends, killshots. Once you dismember a Necromorph, it’s easier to let them crawl to you and give them a swift kick to the head then it is to keep firing your weapon and waste ammo. Also, learn to use your kenetic abilities to your benefit, if your out of ammo: pull off a limp from an dead crew member or dead Necromorph and shoot it at them. It works just as good if not better, and you aren’t wasting precious ammo.
The biggest change within the game has to be Zero-G, and what a change it is. Now, instead of leaping from one surface to another, you’ll have the ability to actually defy gravity by gliding through the air with little jets on your suit. Definitely a faster way to travel. Definitely makes me wish that I had one of these suits in my closet. Another big change within the game is the ability to hack computers. You’ll come across computers throughout the Sprawl that you’ll need to hack into to open doors and progress further. But, don’t worry, it’s not overly complicated. All that you need to do is move the joystick around until the indicator onscreen turns a sky-blue. Poof! Instant access. Speaking of instant access, you now have the ability to enter crawl spaces within the ship. My biggest gripe about this though was that there aren’t any Necromorphs to kill within the crawl spaces. Seriously Visceral Games, take this tip and if you decide to bring Dead Space 3 into the world, make it so there are creatures in there. I want stuff trying to me every second… adds an extra creepy factor. After seeing one in there at the beginning, I was expecting more of them to come jumping out from the woodworks… but no. It was just a tease. A creepy and eerie tease.
The greatest part of Dead Space 2 — in my opinion — has to be its smooth and fluid transitions between gameplay and cinematic scenes. They are nearly flawless. The best sequence that describes this is when Issac has to eject himself out into deep space and fly through the atmosphere, dodging objects as they hurl towards him. After a quick stint as Superman, you’ll crash through the air duct and get back onto the ship, giving us a perfectly seamless action sequence that will surely get our heart pumping. But, this is only the beginning. Moments like these are all over the place.
Now, how about we take a look at the multiplayer experience for Dead Space 2. My true thoughts: its a flop. There are two teams: Humans versus Necromorphs. Each map have their own gametypes as well as story to follow along to but the main goal is generally the same: to eliminate, evade and survive. As you gain experience points, you’ll unlock new weapons and abilities for your character, so be sure to set up your load-out before racing across the Sprawl in a multiplayer match.
So, what was my overall thought on Dead Space 2? Well, I thought that it was a superb game with a whole lot of intense and creepy moments throughout it. If you are a serious and loyal survival horror fanatic, then attempting this game on hardcore seems to be the route that you want to take as its difficulty has been increased and there is a severe lack of ammo and health, turning this title into a serious survival horror game.
You know, there isn’t much that could have been done to make this a better game. I felt that Visceral Games truly made a sequel that lived up to its predecessor and has everything that a fan of the series and the genre will enjoy. All that I can really say now is “so, uh… bye.”
- Title: Dead Space 2
- Platform Reviewed: PS3
- Developer: Visceral Games
- Publisher: Electronic Arts
- Release Date: Available Now
- MSRP: $59.99
- Review Copy Info: A copy of this title was provided to DualShockers Inc. by the publisher for purposes of this review.